harm

noun
\ˈhärm \

Definition of harm 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical or mental damage : injury the amount of harm sustained by the boat during the storm

2 : mischief, hurt I meant you no harm.

harm

verb
harmed; harming; harms

Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to damage or injure physically or mentally : to cause harm (see harm entry 1) to No animals were harmed in the making of the film. the national interest … was gravely harmed by this attack— Elmer Davis

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Other Words from harm

Verb

harmer noun

Synonyms for harm

Synonyms: Noun

affliction, damage, detriment, hurt, injury

Synonyms: Verb

damage, hurt, injure, wound

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Choose the Right Synonym for harm

Verb

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Noun

harm, injury, and damage mean an act that causes loss or pain. harm can be used of anything that causes suffering or loss. The frost did great harm to the crops. injury is likely to be used of something that has as a result the loss of health or success. She suffered an injury to the eyes. damage stresses the idea of loss (as of value or fitness). The fire caused much damage to the furniture.

Examples of harm in a Sentence

Noun

They threatened him with bodily harm. The scandal has done irreparable harm to his reputation. She'll do anything to protect her children from harm. They have suffered serious physical harm. These new regulations could cause lasting harm to small businesses.

Verb

He would never intentionally harm his children. chemicals that could harm the environment The scandal has seriously harmed his reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tyler Rogoway at The Drive wrote a compelling explanation for why all the valuable aircraft weren’t simply flown out of harm’s way: At modern fighter is not a Honda Accord. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Hurricane Michael showed how woefully unprepared the military is for extreme weather," 15 Oct. 2018 If there is an immediate threat of harm, call 911 or your school's emergency number. Seventeen Magazine, Seventeen, "Here's How To Help A Friend Who's Struggling," 10 Oct. 2018 This indicates a very low level of harm in moderate drinkers and suggests UK guidelines of an average of 16g a day (2 units) are very low-risk indeed. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "There’s no risk-free amount of alcohol, population-level study finds," 27 Aug. 2018 The Sheriff's Office is seeking charges against Mcshane of OWI causing great bodily harm and second-degree recklessly causing injury. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Drunken driver crashed into motorcyclist, then backed up over him, Sheriff's Office says," 5 July 2018 This is just one in several very serious threats the United States Capitol Police are investigating in which individuals threatened to shoot, lynch, or cause me serious bodily harm. Monique Judge, The Root, "Congresswoman Maxine Waters Says She Is Facing Increased Death Threats," 28 June 2018 Mediation is also a place for perpetrators, or harm-doers, to react. Kim Tran, Teen Vogue, "Transformative Justice, Explained," 15 Nov. 2018 Any activity the group feels may cause pain or bring harm to the elephant—walking a tightrope, riding a bicycle, or doing headstands, for instance—has been prohibited. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Is It Ever Okay to Ride Elephants While on Vacation? It’s Complicated...," 18 Oct. 2018 So the new models of treatment really try to address that, things like harm reduction and motivational interviewing, which looks to basically help people reconcile or address or resolve some of that ambivalence. Fox News, "Ingraham: When the inmates run the immigration asylum," 26 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If words have the power to harm or heal, Gomez's latest look was a master move in controlling the conversation—and a valuable reminder that there's nothing more beautiful than human respect and kindness. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Selena Gomez Claps Back at Haters with an Unmistakable Message at New York Fashion Week," 12 Sep. 2018 He was shot after threatening to harm one of the hostages, police said in a statement released early Friday. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "NC police shoot man holding Harris Teeter staff hostage during standoff," 13 July 2018 Papa John's has noted in regulatory filings that its business could be harmed if Schnatter's reputation was damaged. Candice Choi, chicagotribune.com, "Papa John is gone, but his image is still entwined with pizza chain," 12 July 2018 Nineteen percent of Muslim kids surveyed said they had been physically harmed or harassed at school because of their religion, up 10 percentage points from the prior survey. Anita Chabria And Michael Finch Ii, sacbee, "Hate crimes in Sacramento County have increased by 66 percent since 2014," 12 July 2018 Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County teachers union, said his group will ultimately be harmed because its national affiliate, the National Education Association, will see its resources diminish. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Supreme Court's Janus ruling could impact Kentucky teachers unions," 27 June 2018 Officials said no one was harmed at Barton 1792 when the rickhouse, a storage structure for aging bourbon, suffered partial structural failure. Thomas Leavy, CBS News, "Thousands of bourbon barrels come crashing down in distillery collapse," 22 June 2018 Neither Irving and Cannon were harmed during the incident, a Seven representative said. Euan Mckirdy, CNN, "Australian news crew mugged while filming on London street," 7 June 2018 Collins told Fox News the 6-inch spider, which many identified as a fishing spider, was not harmed and released back into the wild. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Indiana man warns locals to 'beware' of giant spiders after spotting 6-inch crawler at work," 2 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harm

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harm

Noun

Middle English, from Old English hearm; akin to Old High German harm injury, Old Church Slavonic sramŭ shame

Verb

see harm entry 1

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Learn More about harm

Dictionary Entries near harm

harlot

harlotry

harls

harm

harm's way

harman

harmattan

Statistics for harm

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harm

The first known use of harm was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for harm

harm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc.

harm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to (someone or something) : to cause harm to (someone or something)

harm

noun
\ˈhärm \

Kids Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage : injury The storm did little harm to the sheltered beach.

harm

verb
harmed; harming

Kids Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to Too much sun can harm your skin.

harm

noun

Legal Definition of harm 

: loss of or damage to a person's right, property, or physical or mental well-being : injury

Other Words from harm

harm transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on harm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harm

Spanish Central: Translation of harm

Nglish: Translation of harm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harm

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